Once baked, you can expect the top and bottom cookie to hold shape for about 72 hours, or 3 days. Once the egg whites give up their structure, macarons crumble.
You can freeze macarons for up to six months once they’ve been separated. Take care to thaw them very slowly and avoid allowing condensation to build up inside the storage container because macarons don’t like water and quickly crumble.
How Long Do Macarons Last?
About 3 days. You have three days before a fresh batch of macarons crumbles. If you want them for a special event, buy or bake no more than 24 hours in advance and keep them cold.
Macarons are made of three layers. The cookie’s top and bottom are made of egg white, almond flour, confectioner’s sugar, and a little bit of salt.
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The challenge to making the top and bottom is that there’s very little binding material in the mix; it’ mostly air and sugar with just a bit of protein in the egg white.
The filling is also a bit of a challenge. Fillings that do well at cool temperatures mean that these cookies won’t hold their shape at room temperature.
Macaron spoilage will happen long after they crumble entirely to rubble and goo. Because the window on these cookies holding their shape is so short, spoilage isn’t really a concern.
How To Tell If Macarons Are Bad
Should you open a container of macarons and notice:
- Water or moisture
- Visible mold
- Musty odor
Then transfer the macarons to a plastic bag, seal it up tight and throw it away.
If macarons have held their shape, they are likely fresh. They will fail from within. The biggest risk with any product made mostly of egg whites is moisture.
Take a look at the bottom of the storage container. Lots of moisture in the bottom of the box can increase the risk of a bacterial build-up.
Another consideration is the almond flour. If almonds have ever caused an allergic response in you, then macarons are not safe for you. If you’re not sure, avoid macarons.
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Can Bad Macarons Make You Sick?
If they’ve crumbled, they probably won’t make you sick if you consume them within seven days from the baking date. However, the joy of the presentation will be gone.
Their structure is based on egg whites, and if egg whites have baked long enough to hold their shape, the risk of food poisoning from these cookies is very rare.
Eat them within that three-day window, and you’re all set.
How to Store Macarons
Macarons are delicate. To keep them, clear a space in your refrigerator and use a glass container lined with parchment paper. They will stick to wax paper!
Place the macarons in a single layer on top of the parchment paper, then cover that with more parchment paper for a second layer.
If you have space, don’t stack them at all. Use another container. Carefully and thoroughly seal the box or container.
Those who don’t have a large glass baking dish can seal up, consider using cookie sheets or new plastic containers. If you use cookie sheets, cover the top layer with more parchment paper, and seal the whole tray with plastic to keep odors out.
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The flavor of macarons is quite delicate. A plastic container that’s held anything else will likely have that flavor, and your lovely batch of macarons will absorb it.
If the container ever held lasagna, garlic bread, or bacon, your macarons will taste like one of those dishes.
Macarons are a bit like homemade bread in that the experience is really a big part of the presentation. As fresh bread is a treat when it’s warm and buttery, macarons are unique because of how they look.
They won’t last long at room temperature and really don’t tolerate humid conditions, so don’t set them outdoors on a buffet. The filling will melt, and they will slide apart.
If you buy or make them on Saturday for a party on Sunday, store them in single layers in a non-reactive container, such as a glass baking dish with a lid.
Separate the layers with parchment paper to avoid having your beautiful cookies stick together. Keep them cool for 24 hours, and enjoy!